TIME wall street

High-Speed Trading Is Turning Wall Street Into a Casino

Everyone is talking about Michael Lewis’ new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. The book basically calls into question whether high-speed trading, used by geeks and money men alike to front-run the market, is even legal. Whether or not it is, many of us would agree that ultra-short-term trading of this sort isn’t what the markets were intended to foster. And indeed, it’s particularly sad that many of the people who develop flash trading programs are math PhDs that might instead be creating, say, green turbine engines or solving global warming or doing something a lot more useful than building trading technology to make rich guys even richer.

All of this reminds me of the first time I heard about the inside details of high frequency trading, from a friend who used to do it for a major financial institution. He explained how he built computer programs that would spot where the little “fish” in the market were headed, and then throw some false bait to them. Meaning, in other words, that his very large institution would throw a little cash into whatever trades they were interested in, to further excite the feeding frenzy. Then the big institution’s more sophisticated trading systems would kick in to eat their lunch with a better trade on the other side of the pond. That’s somewhat different from what Lewis’ describes, but it’s all part of the same phenomenon—trading for trading’s sake, and financial transactions that represent value only for the trader, rather than for the companies or assets being traded, or society at large.

It’s not what Adam Smith had in mind when he extolled the virtues of the market’s invisible hand. But given that our tax system doesn’t penalize anyone for short-termism (high-speed trading gains are taxed at the same rate as any other investment gain), it’s no wonder that this kind of trading is growing, creating market volatility and costing institutions and individual investors hundreds of billions in lost wealth. The entire value of the New York Stock Exchange now turns over roughly every 12 months, a rate that has doubled since the early 1990s. As Warren Buffett once told me, “You’ve got a body of people in the market who’ve decided they’d rather go to the casino, rather than the restaurant.”

I hope the Lewis book leads to a rethink of the legality of trading—because it’s costs don’t just end with markets themselves. This rise in trading and particularly high-speed trading has coincided with a decrease in the amount of lending to small and mid-sized businesses. It’s no surprise why: effective lending is expensive and time-consuming. You have to know your customer and your industry, which takes time, money, and research. Trading, especially when you can work mainly with borrowed money and massive volume, is much more profitable. Any Flash Boy can tell you that.

TIME Federal Reserve

The Fed Is Right to Worry About ‘Kitchen-Table Economics’

File photo of U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Yellen testifying on her nomination to be the next chairman of the Fed during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing in Washington
Janet Yellen during a Senate confirmation hearing on her nomination to be the next chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2013 Joshua Roberts—Reuters

Under Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, community development, which has always been part of the Fed’s mandate, though an oft-neglected one, seems to be coming back in vogue

Anyone who was worried — based on Fed chair Janet Yellen’s recent comments about interest rates rising as early as 2015 — that she was turning hawkish should be reassured by a speech she gave today in Chicago. Her comments focused on what the Fed should still be doing at this point in the recovery to promote a stronger labor market. She made it very clear that she sees our lingering post-financial-crisis unemployment problems as cyclical, rather than structural. In other words, there’s a lot of slack in the labor market, and there’s more the Fed can do to fix that. “The government has the tools to address cyclical unemployment,” Yellen said. “Monetary policy is one such tool.” That’s why the market shouldn’t take the Fed’s recent scale back of its asset-buying program as evidence that it’s giving up — merely that it’s changing its focus.

What’s interesting is where Yellen seems to be throwing her attention: community development. Her speech in Chicago was given at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, and kicked off a day that the chairwoman will spend touring the City Colleges of Chicago high-tech manufacturing program. Now, I’m not a Fed historian, but I’m willing to bet that this in the first time in quite a while that any Fed chair has done a community college and manufacturing tour. Ben Bernanke and certainly Alan Greenspan would have been more likely to hang out in the circles of power on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C., either by choice or by force.

But under Yellen, community development, which has always been part of the Fed’s mandate, though an oft-neglected one, seems to be coming back in vogue. As I wrote in a column a few months ago, America’s central bankers are giving it more and more attention, now that the effects of an easy-money environment seem to be spent. Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren was a catalyst for the Working Cities challenge, which offered up grant money to Massachusetts cities that could come up with the most politically collaborative ways to bolster job growth. (The fact that the winners had to demonstrate cross-aisle cooperation in economic development was an interesting nudge to a dysfunctional Washington.) The Kansas City Fed is starting a similar program. The San Francisco Fed is partnering with the Low Income Investment Fund, a community-development institution that bridges the gap between low-income borrowers and private capital.

All of this speaks to the fact that over five years on from the financial crisis, banking has still not been remoored in the real economy. Wall Street isn’t really interested in grassroots lending or economic development, no more so than before the crisis. Why should it be, when trading is so much more profitable? But Yellen is clearly taking her role as America’s banker in chief seriously, and acting on the sort of “kitchen-table economics” she promised when she spoke to TIME on the day of her confirmation. Today’s speech and the increasing Fed action around economic community building shows that, as she put it, “the scars from the Great Recession remain” and that the Federal Reserve owes it to the American people to bail out not just banks, but workers too.


Squeezing the World’s Oligarchs Will Not Work

Manhattan Skyline
Oliver Morris—Getty Images

I lived for nine years in London, starting in the late 1990s. During that time, I watched many of the prime areas of the city—Mayfair, Hampstead, Knightsbridge—being bought up by Russia oligarchs looking for a place to expatriate their money. More recently, that’s happened in the U.S. too. There are entire buildings in New York, like 15 Central Park West, that are populated by rich Russians looking to diversify their portfolio outside of their increasingly tumultuous home country.

Now, with US and European sanctions on the movement of money in and out of Russia, are we may start to see a shift in ownership in some of the world’s top real estate markets. The question is, “what difference will this really make to the economic situation in Russia?” My feeling: not much. One of the reason that sanctions are so far concentrating on asset flows, rather than the really important stuff like oil and gas exports, is that Europeans aren’t on board with playing a game of petro-politic chicken with Putin. They get 30% of their energy flow from Russia, and are much more vulnerable to the negative effects of such a game, in the form of higher energy prices or gas shortages. This means that one of the few levers the West has against Putin right now is targeting financial flows of Russian billionaires.

One thing that will be interesting to see, as the sanctions move forward, is just how much money the oligarchs have actually stashed abroad, which is a good measure for how risky they think their own economy is. It’s no accident that many emerging market billionaires in places like China, Brazil, and Turkey have begun moving more money abroad in recent years, as political risk in such emerging markets increase, and returns decrease. For more on this topic, listen to the latest episode of Money Talking, where I discuss it with the New York Times’ Joe Nocera, and Charlie Herman:


Stress Tests Are Not Making Banking Any Safer

Pedestrians walk past a Citibank branch in Mumbai Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Earlier this year, I wrote a cover story on Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressing the hope that she would help finish the work of cleaning up our banking system, a problem which still remains over five years on from the financial crisis. This week’s Fed rejection of Citigroup’s dividend payout plans gives me some hope that she’s taking that job more seriously than her predecessors.

The Fed “stress tests,” which govern the right of banks to give money back to shareholders, are designed to make sure that before banks attempt to drive up their value by paying dividends or buying back stock, they actually have enough capital on hand to do what they are supposed to do, which is to lend money to real businesses, and make markets safely. It’s interesting to me that while Citigroup’s capital cushion comfortably exceeded the mandated 5 % minimum, the Fed still denied the company’s plans to give money back to shareholders. It said that banks hadn’t made enough progress in areas like risk management and that the central bank didn’t buy Citi’s ability to manage its future revenue stream. Basically, the Fed said, “we aren’t buying your ability to manage risk and do business safely.”

Should we feel reassured by this? Yes, and no. The thing that I’m happy about is the fact that the Fed seems to be thinking about risk in a more nuanced way. It’s not only about the amount of capital that you have on hand, but how you manage it. Even well capitalized banks can make mistakes and have bad controls in place, and frankly, as I’ve been saying for some time, big bank’s risk management is really rune reading anyway. At best, you’re throwing a bunch of hunches about all the bad things that could happen in the world into a black box, and shaking them around, and hoping for the best.

The thing that still worries me is that Citi, which was comfortably above the mandated capital limits, is still holding only 6.5 % “Tier One” capital – that’s the good kind, meaning cash and cash equivalents. Let’s look at that another way: It means that this bank does its regular daily business with over 93 % borrowed money. As I pointed out in my cover from last year, “How Wall Street Won,” that’s a ratio that any other type of business in America wouldn’t dream of. There are plenty of people who think that in order to have a truly safer system, we need to stop treating banks as though they are special, and start making them act like every other business in America. For more on that, see Stanford professor Anat Admati’s piece on this topic in the New York Times.

TIME Economy

Globalization in Reverse

What the world’s trade slowdown means for growth in the U.S.—and abroad

Recent conflicts everywhere from Ukraine to the Middle East and the South China Sea remind us (as Robert D. Kaplan wrote in TIME’s March 31 cover story) that geography still matters, even in a globalized age. Politically, the world is certainly not flat. New economic figures show how increasingly rocky our world is becoming economically too. Globalization is often defined as the free movement of goods, people and money across borders. Lately, all of those have come under threat–and not just because of sanctions limiting travel and the flow of money among Russia, the U.S. and Europe. Over the past two years, global trade growth has been lower than global GDP growth. It’s the first time that has happened since World War II, and it marks a turning point in the global economy, with sweeping implications for countries, companies and consumers.

There are many reasons global trade is growing more slowly than it has in the past. Europe is still struggling to end its debt crisis, and emerging markets are expanding more slowly than they were. But one of the biggest factors is that the American economy is going through a profound shift: the U.S. is no longer the global consumer of last resort. As HSBC’s chief economist, Stephen King, pointed out in a recent research note, during postwar recoveries past, “the U.S. economy acted as a giant sponge,” absorbing excess goods and services produced by the rest of the world. Booms would bust; markets would crash and recover. And whenever they did, you could be sure that Americans would start spending again, and eventually our trade deficit–the level by which imports exceed exports–would grow. That’s now changing. After nearly five years of recovery, the U.S. trade deficit isn’t growing but shrinking. In fact, it was down by about 12% from 2012 to 2013.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for us. Part of the reason the deficit is shrinking is that our shale-oil and gas boom means we are buying less foreign fossil fuel, and our manufacturing sector is growing. But part of it is that wages haven’t come up since the crisis, and consumer spending is still sluggish. In order for the U.S. and the world economy to keep growing, somebody has to shell out for the electronics, cars and other goods we used to buy more of.

Unfortunately, no one is doing that. Europeans, still stuck in a debt crisis, probably won’t spend again for another five years. Emerging-economy countries, in various levels of turmoil, are growing at roughly half the rate they did precrisis. The Chinese, who picked up a lot of the global-spending slack after the financial reckoning of 2008, are now in the midst of a financial crisis of their own. Japan did its bit last year, but Abenomics–the government’s plan to encourage spending, named for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe–is running out of steam. Everywhere, says Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to insurance giant Allianz, “there is a mismatch between the will and the wallet to spend.”

With global economic integration seemingly in reverse, at least for the moment, many economists and trade experts are beginning to talk about a new era of deglobalization, during which countries turn inward. Some of the implications are worrisome. Complaints to the World Trade Organization about protectionism, intellectual-property theft and new trade barriers are rising. Trade talks themselves are no longer global but regional and local, threatening to create a destructive so-called spaghetti bowl of competing economic alliances.

Yet deglobalization isn’t necessarily all bad. As U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said at an economic summit in Washington recently, it also “means companies are looking at their extended value chains, supply chains, and deciding whether they want to move some production back to their home country.” That’s already happened in the U.S. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that 21% of all manufacturing firms in the U.S. with $1 billion or more in sales are actively reshoring, and 54% say they are considering it.

Whether or not those jobs will help boost wages is something the Federal Reserve will be watching carefully. One of the hallmarks of the past 30 years of globalization was an easy-money environment. As Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated at her latest press conference, we are coming to the end of that era. In this new economic age, not all boats will rise equally or smoothly. Markets, which had more or less converged for the past 30 years, will start diverging along national and sectoral lines. Our economic landscape, like our political one, will become more volatile and less predictable. Get ready for a bumpy ride.

TIME activist investors

Shareholder ‘Activists’—Are They Good or Bad?

“Activist” investors are all over the news once again. From Carl Icahn nabbing seats on the board of Herbalife, to Daniel Loeb suing Sotheby’s auction house over its use of a “poison pill” to defend against Loeb, who wants to buy up more stock and put his own people on the board, investor activism is at record highs. According to FactSet Research, activist investors have targeted more than 20% of industrial companies in the S&P 500 over the last five years. There are plenty of reasons for this, as I explained in my cover story about the granddaddy of all activists, Carl Icahn, last year. But the main reason is the most obvious one: Companies are holding more cash than ever on their balance sheets, and activists want them to give it back to shareholders.

The question is and has always been whether this is a good thing. People like Icahn would argue yes — according to him, most corporate boards are made up of lackeys to the CEO, people who typically don’t make great investment decisions and shouldn’t be entrusted with spare cash. Others simply argue that if a company has run out of productive places to put investment capital, then, hey, why not give it back to shareholders?

But I think that there are a fair number of companies out there for which neither point holds true. There’s no question that the share buybacks and dividend payments pushed for by activists boost stock prices in the short term. But as many economists have been arguing for the last several years, there’s never been a better time for companies to do big capital investment projects — from building new factories to buying new technology, expanding overseas, or developing new business offshoots — than there has been since the Fed lowered interest rates to record levels after the financial crisis. We’re now coming to the end of that cheap money era. As Fed chair Janet Yellen indicated in her press conference last week, rates may go up as early as mid 2015. The cost of borrowing will rise, and companies may need their spare cash to pay down debt. No wonder a BofA Merrill Lynch survey of fund mangers shows record support for capital spending, and decreasing support for giving back cash to shareholders.

If activists want to succeed in this new era, they’ll have to argue for more than just big money payouts, and come up with real strategic plans to help the companies they are targeting. Otherwise, they are likely to face increasing push back from investors and experts. For more on that, check out this article arguing against shareholder activism, by well known judge Leo Strine, in this month’s Columbia Law review.




TIME Wealth

Here Comes the Revenge of the 1 Percent

I’d argue that it began with Jamie Dimon’s Christmas card. It showed the last remaining Too Big To Fail banker playing a gleeful game of tennis with his family in their palatial living room (as one does), oblivious to the damage that might be caused by balls crashing into the museum-quality art. But Ben White, who along with his Politico colleague Maggie Haberman, this week wrote the smart The Rich Strike Back, argues it began more recently, with billionaire Ken Langone’s whining that complaints against the rich today are similar to Hitler’s inciting of hatred against Jews in 1930s Germany. Wherever you put down the marker, it is clear the rich are sick of all this talk about inequality and higher taxes—and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

Apparently, politicians think it’s a message that may win over a wider public. White and Haberman’s piece makes an interesting argument that we’re seeing a shift in the Democratic playbook coming up to the midterm elections; inequality and complaining about the rich is too dour, apparently, and doesn’t poll well. Liberals will have to get a new election pitch, one that focuses on the politics of growth rather than “envy.”

What’s interesting to me is that, in some ways, Republicans seem to be going the other way. The speeches given by Rand Paul and Rick Santorum at CPAC were positively progressive in economic terms (well, aside from Santorum calling trickle down economics “spiritual”). They were all about the poor, and creating opportunity, and so on. Republicans have begun to realize that a lot of their base has fallen down the economic ladder and can’t get up. Simply invoking the usual lines about bootstrapping and allowing government to get out of the way so the American can-do spirit can take over don’t seem quite so convincing as we move into the third year of what is still the longest and weakest economic recovery of the post World War II period. The problem is, they don’t really have any new policy agenda to address those problems.

I think that one of the big issues for both parties in both the midterm elections and the presidential election in 2016 will be coming up with some convincing, post trickle-down economic message. We know those old ideas aren’t working—companies and the 1 % have never been richer, but they aren’t creating more jobs. Rather, they are buying more software to do the jobs humans used to do. At a Conference Board event yesterday looking at the effects of technology on the workforce, I was interested in to learn that even as the recovery grows stronger, many companies are considering cutting more jobs, rather than fewer, higher up the food chain, as technology allows them to be done by computers.

The problem is that if you are a politician, how do you message that? The idea of massive structural shifts in our economy that may put hundreds of millions of more jobs at risk globally, increasing unemployment, decreasing income, and possibly requiring a much stronger government safety-net (and probably higher taxes) isn’t nearly as attractive a message as, “Don’t worry – if the rich get richer, you will, eventually, too.” Sadly, it’s the truth–at least right now. And that means that nobody’s heart will bleed for the 1 % very soon.

For more on that, listen to the latest episode of WNYC’s Money Talking, where Ben White, Charlie Herman, and I discuss the issue.


Markets Need Janet Yellen to Kick Them in the Pants

Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee during a hearing on her nomination to become Chair of the Federal Reserve on Nov. 14, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Kris Tripplaar—SIPA USA

Poor Janet Yellen. She does a good job communicating a complicated (and appropriate) mix of policy decisions at her first FOMC meeting today, including a slightly larger and quicker than expected interest rate hike, as well as a movement away from a set unemployment threshold for keeping rates low and toward a more nuanced view of labor market health. So what happens? She gets hammered by pundits and bankers alike for supposedly ending Bernanke style clarity, adding “mystique” to Fed communications and “shaking up” the US central bank’s mandate of keeping unemployment and inflation low.

Let’s all take a deep breath, please. For starters, Bernanke’s “clarity” over the last few years was largely Yellen’s doing, in the sense that she’s the one that came up with the 2 % inflation target rate and pushed for more and better Fed communication. Then, there’s the supposedly “hawkish” rate increase (the median interest rate forecast increased 0.25 % to 1 %) which investors now believe could happen by mid 2015 based on a statement by the chair, during her press conference, that rate hikes could start six months after the end of asset purchases (which may well be done by the end of this year).

Again, let’s all practice mindfulness, and focus on what we know will happen if rates stay low forever. Bubbles will form—and they will pop. The Fed’s $4 trillion money dump has already created what Yellen and other Fed leaders know are price distortions in everything from emerging market equities to commodities to certain real estate markets. Many people, including me, have been saying for some time now that while we might wish that the Fed’s easy money and low-interest rate policy could do more for the economy, it probably can’t.

There are complicated structural reasons why we are in the longest and weakest recovery of the post WW II period. When I interviewed Yellen earlier this year, she made it quite clear that she knew that the Fed’s firepower was running low—although she still believed that clear and thoughtful forward guidance could help calm markets. (Today’s reaction shows that will be a tricky act to pull off.) Still, by proving hawks that had predicted a Yellen-led Fed would remain too dovish for too long wrong, she’s showing a careful regard for the market impact of long-term loose monetary policy. She may be concerned about the “human impact” of unemployment, but she clearly doesn’t want markets to crash, either.

All in all, I’m rather surprised that the markets took the rate hike news as so hawkish and definitive, given that she stressed again and again that the Fed would be watching a broad range of economic indicators to make sure that they were getting the timing of internet rate tightening right. (Which, by the way, is appropriate given that the recent drop in the US unemployment rate is indicative of many things beyond labor market health, like boomers dropping out of the workforce by choice or by force.) She told reporters that even when rate hikes began, there would be a “shallower glide path” than normal, and that we shouldn’t just “look to the dot plot”—meaning the Fed’s own projections—but that markets should know Fed governors would be keeping their fingers to the wind at all times, ready to change direction on policy if needed.

To me, that’s reassuring. It’s interesting that to markets it was worrisome. That shows just how dependent investors have become on Fed news going in one direction only and how removed some asset prices have become from fundamentals. When I close my eyes, breathe deeply and visualize the future, I see…more volatility.


America’s Most Miserable City Emerges from Bankruptcy

Pedestrians ride their bicycles along the street in Stockton, California, U.S., on June 14, 2012. David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images

But at what cost?

Until Detroit, Stockton, Calif. was the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city, which hopes to emerge from Chapter 9 this spring, has struggled with all sorts of problems in the wake of the subprime crisis—a housing collapse, nosebleed unemployment (it’s still 15.9 % in the city and 13.2 % in the surrounding county), and a mass exodus of firemen, cops and other city service people as the local government struggled with how they could make the budgetary numbers work while still paying gold-plated health care and pension plans to retirees. Stockton did do major cutting in its public sector healthcare benefits, which represented the bulk of its under-funded entitlements. But it’s still left spending 17-18 % of its budget on entitlements like pensions – a number many experts believe is unsustainable. City officials say further cuts just aren’t on the table. “The idea that we’d even look at pension reform meant we started loosing police,” says Elbert H. Holman, Jr., a Stockton council member. “If we’d have eliminated or serious cut pensions, we’d have been devastated as a city.”

As it is, the loss of 400 police officers over four years to nearby cities in better economic shape resulted in a radical increase in crime, and a record number of homicides, 71 in a city of 300,000, in 2012. Reporting in Stockton yesterday, I got an up close and personal look at how desperate things still are thanks to the loss of basic city services. While visiting a tent city of homeless people under Highway 4, one of many in Stockton, my handbag was stolen. Fortunately, two of the tent city residents chased down the perpetrator and got my purse back. “We’re not bad people here,” said Abdul Solo, aged 67, one of those who helped. “We’re just trying to live, stay clean, stay out of trouble.”

That’s a tough job in Stockton, where stories of long-term unemployment and continuing fallout from the housing crisis are still rife (two tent city residents told me they’d lost their homes in the subprime crisis). Nearly every restaurant in the city, mainly fast food joints and small family owned eateries, has a sign like the one at the local McDonalds, which reads, “Service may be refused: this is not a hangout or a shelter.” Indeed, there are few shelters in the city – non profits, rather than the city, support them; paying for care for the homeless is yet another thing that Stockton can’t afford as it tries to craft a budget that will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy without further cuts in retiree benefits. Highway 4’s tent city residents shower and clean their clothes at St. Mary’s, a local Catholic Church. A few blocks away, at the First Presbyterian Church, passers-by are admonished to “give up complaining– and embrace gratitude.”

That’s a message that some city fathers are pushing, too. There are many reasons why Stockton was one of the hardest hit American cities in the Great Recession – a housing bubble, debt spending on white elephant projects (like a downtown arena which is rarely full), fiscal mismanagement, and unrealistic pension return expectations and under-funding during boom times all played a part. The local council understandably wants to move past all that and showcase good news in the city – the Google barge pulled up in Stockton’s port the other day (although nobody seems to know why, exactly); housing prices in nicer areas are starting to go up; crime is down this year from last; the city is convinced that its budgetary math will hold and allow it to emerge from bankruptcy, even as it begins hiring 120 new cops, which was a condition of the recent tax hike that the city was able to pass. But a number of citizens are skeptical. “Stockton’s emergence from bankruptcy will be short-lived under the current exit plan if the pension liability (the city’s largest debt) is not reduced, “ says Dave Renison, president of the San Joaquin Taxpayers Association. “In five short years (2005 to 2010) public pension benefits in California grew at nearly three times that of the private sector.” The fact that statewide pension reform initiatives have so far been torpedoed, “leaves us doing the job for ourselves.”

Mayor Anthony Silva, an energetic and reform minded 39-year-old Republican and former social worker who took office 14 months ago with a mandate to turn the city around, agrees that pensions have been a huge economic drag on the city, but says that “no city can take on pension reform on its own.” Indeed, the fact that 90 % of Californian cities are under the CALPERS system makes it easy for service workers to just leave cities that attempt pension reform and go elsewhere. Mayor Silva is instead focusing his efforts on trying to push economic development in the city, which has the potential to be a bigger logistical hub, as well as trying to find solutions to the increasing bifurcation in a town where preserving the status quo for city workers makes it hard to spend on the most vulnerable. “I’d like to find a way to put some of the homeless to work refurbishing abandoned buildings,” says the mayor, who plans to petition Washington for federal redevelopment money to help Stockton get back on its feet. And despite city council pressure to put the pension issue on the back burner, he says he’d been willing to work with other mayors at a state level to come up with reform ideas. “It’s kind of basic,” says Silva. “You don’t spend what you don’t have.” Tomorrow, I’ll blog about San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s ideas about statewide pension reform.

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